The Secret of the Sheikh’s Betrothed
(Dreamspun Desires #46)
November 15th, 2017
Billionaire Fathi al-Murzim is a workaholic businessman, too busy running the family’s companies to even think about marriage. Too bad he never told his grandfather he’s gay, because Grandfather just announced a childhood betrothal—to a Bedouin girl Fathi never heard about before.
Ikraam din Abdel was raised as a woman by his avaricious and abusive older sister, who didn’t want him to be their father’s heir. He’d never thought to be married either, and is surprised when his sister informs him of his betrothal.
When Fathi and Ikraam meet, they are drawn to each other in a manner neither of them expected. As the plans for their wedding progress, they both realize they need to tell the other the truth. But can they, with both cultural taboos and family pressures to deal with?
- Made by a pro with marketing experience
- Read all at once (normal)
- I only kept reading because I was curious how Ikraam was going to divulge his secret, and wanted a better life for him since...
- That we didn't have to read about the 'bargaining', because I hate that - stop wasting time, the price is the price, take it or leave it
- Even though he was basically trapped and abused his whole life, Ikraam was still ready to kick some ass when it mattered
- Hip deep
Mood Upon Completion
- Very few/no typos
- …the premise of this story is VERY flimsy - it hinges on Fathi simply saying no*
- A lot of these customs are extremely restrictive, and I'm not sure if they are true or just a bunch of stereotypes**
- Fathi is generating more drama for himself by not immediately firing his inappropriate assistant before she seeks revenge or whatever
- Excluding Ikraam's little sister, all the women are harpies, whores, etc. and can't possibly just be decent people - ugh
- How Fathi keeps repeating how his family is more important to him than himself
- Twice someone in the book references romance novels - can we not, please?
- The use of het romance weasel words for sex organs like 'staff' and 'core' - as much as you wish you were, you're not Harlequin, and I'd appreciate less linguistic cowardice in my 18+ gay fiction, thanks***
- Weakly emotional
- Abuse (emotional/physical, major, one, past/present)
*I don’t mind stories where the character truly seems to have no choice or both choices are equally untenable but he’s willing to suffer through a lifetime of being married to a woman just to please his grandfather. This dude has the wherewithal to fuck off directly – never to be seen again – but he won’t do it because he feels somehow beholden. He keeps complaining, when he should put up or shut up. It may be Western thinking, but anyone who forces what they say is ‘best for you’ on you when it clearly is what’s best and appropriate for THEM isn’t worth your time.
**It was set somewhere in the Middle East, and it was my hope that that wouldn’t give the author free rein to negatively stereotype since I’m sure most of the readership is American and not well-versed in countries where English is not the primary or a close secondary language; this happens way too often, and is mostly why I avoid reading books like this. Hopefully, the culture and people were well-represented, because I have zero experience to base it on.
***It seems like they’re trying to ease female het romance readers into gay romance with these books, and I’m of the opinion that though both genres overlap, they were never meant to be the same. Doing so diminishes both.
^But happy that Ikraam escaped his old life and all of the horrendous abuse
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